Wednesday, June 30, 2010

As the egg "turns"

Only one short week, Andy and I candled all the eggs from the refrigerator. All were nice and clear, no baby chicks.

This morning, Kev made me a bacon, egg and cheese bagel for breakfast. I was happily munching away on it when Andy came upstairs ready to make his own breakfast. He decided that my bagel looked good and decided to make his own. I was in the living room, when I heard him say "ick". (Or something to that effect.)

I asked if he had a bloody egg, and he said "yes." He carried the egg out to the cats and I suggested that he break the next egg in a bowl first. The next thing I heard was, "Mom, don't look under this paper towel. You won't like what's there."

"What?" I asked.

"There was a baby chick in that egg."

Of course I looked. And sure enough, I saw a mostly developed chick. Suddenly, that egg I had just eaten wasn't sitting as snuggly in my stomach. I have seen chick embryos before--in pictures. They didn't bother me much. I can now say that seeing a picture of an embryo is much less disturbing than seeing a "live" one resting in a cereal bowl. (But, I can tell you that I did take time to mentally note that chicks really do develop from the white, not the yolk. Yes, I'm weird that way.)

I carried the bowl outside and shut my eyes as I set it in the grass for the cats. Of course there were no cats to be found, so I actually had to holler "kitty, kitty." Mama cat made a beeline for the bowl. I didn't watch.

Once back in the house, I candled the rest of the eggs in that carton and threw away 3 more eggs. Two were dark and cloudy, the third definitely had a little chick shape floating in it.

Tonight, I'm going to candle every stinking egg in the fridge and then I'm going to go out to the chicken house and talk to the girls. Someone needs to stay on her nest better. Then, I'm going to figure out a way to mark the nesting boxes so I can better track which one has had a broody girl sitting on it. Either that, or make sure that only one of us gathers eggs so we'll know which boxes to avoid...

Oh, Andy didn't have eggs for breakfast. He had bacon and pop tarts. He said that eggs just didn't sound good right now. I have to say, that I completely understand and agree with him. Eggs just don't sound good right now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

special eggs

I'm a wee bit annoyed...tonight, when I get home from work, I will have to candle every stinking egg in my refrigerator.

Why? Because of one stupid Hen and one typical male.

Andy's job is to bring in the eggs every evening when he shuts the girls up for the night. We've had two girls go broody and they chose to brood in their nesting box. Not the best place to hatch eggs, but I've been afraid to move them for fear that they would abandon their nests. They should be half way through sitting.

I'm usually out there myself every day or two, just to check on things, but right now, taking care of the girls is Andy's responsibility.

This morning, I went out to let the girls out for the day and discovered that one of the girls had moved. She wasn't sitting in her normal box and that box was empty... eggs, no hen...which means that Andy probably, without thinking, brought them to the house. And he should know better. He's been helping me take care of the chickens for almost 1/2 of his life!

There's nothing worse than cracking an egg for breakfast and finding a bloody mess, or worse...a half developed chick.

To avoid this happening, I'm going to have to candle every stinking egg in the fridge tonight to make sure they are all safe.

And right after I do that, I might strangle a 19 year old boy who should know better.

Humm ... ... maybe I'll set aside a couple of "special" eggs just for him to crack open for breakfast...

Anybody wanna see pictures of that?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

tornados and wind

Much like the writer of "The Perfect Country Song", I was told that I had left out some important aspects about tornadoes and rattlesnakes.

So, I've had to revise my "what do you do in Kansas" response to include them. It is as follows...

"Well, this mornin, on the way out to the windmill, I had to kill me an 'ole 8 foot rattler with eleventeen rattles on his tail. I threw him over my shoulder so we could have him for breakfast. After gettin a bucket of water, I glanced over and saw a tornado roarin' down on us. So I hustled back to the house, and got the young'uns into the cellar. Then, just when the tornado had knocked down the windmill and tore up the yard some, I noticed them sneaky Injuns tryin to hijack my chickens. So, I grabbed the shotgun and took care of them there Injuns. After that excitement, it was just another boring day.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Fightin Indians and pickin up buffalo chips

Over the weekend, a young man said to me, "I don't know how you live in Kansas. It's so boring. What do you do for fun?"

Sadly, it's not the first time I've heard that kind of thing. And, quite frankly, I want to smack such people over the head. Seriously. What do they think we do in Kansas? Fight Indians? Battle hoards of grasshoppers? Pick up cow chips for fuel? (And, don't even get me started on the Toto crap...)

Kansas gets a bad rap--an undeserved one. Most people's impression of Kansas comes from driving through the state on I-70. Therefore, they see a 400 miles stretch with 2 miles along either side of the Interstate. Guess what, I-70 was built where it is for ease of construction. The engineers wanted a relatively level area to make construction cheaper and easier. If you are traveling west, Kansas is the first state you come to that takes more than 4 hours to travel across. So, it does seem like a long monotonous trip. Additionally, the Interstate is not urbanized all the way across Kansas like it tends to be in eastern states, so you do see more stretches with fewer fast food restaurants. And, yes, there are fewer trees out here, so it is an abrupt change from the eastern stretches of Interstate.

If you truly want to appreciate all that Kansas has to offer, GET OFF THE INTERSTATE.

In Southeast Kansas, you've got part of the Ozarks and mining communities. In North Eastern Kansas, you've got lots of rivers and trees. Then there are the Flint Hills. In Central Kansas, we've got the Postrock country. And, more hills. In South central/west Kansas, you've got Red Hills. Northwest Kansas has more rolling hills and don't forget the Arikaree Breaks. You don't hit really flat country until you get to the extreme Southwest corner of the state. Even though it's flat there, it's beautiful country.

And nothing is better than a Kansas sunset. Nothing, except a Kansas dawn.

You can see the stars--lots and lots of stars in Kansas.

As to what we do...

Idiot, we do the same things that you "blessed city dwellers" do. Only better.
We have electricity and central heating and cooling. We go to church and visit with our friends. Sorry, but there are no wild Indians left to fight. We have Malls and the same stores you have in your cities.

Just because you drive across our state doesn't mean that you "know" what it's like here. Believe me, you've missed the best parts of Kansas by driving through on I-70. And, you know what, with an attitude like can just keep on driving.

But, next time, when asked "What do you do in Kansas?" I think I'll say, "Well, just yesterday, I had to draw water from the windmill to do laundry. Then, I had to go out and pick up buffalo chips to build the fire with so I could cook lunch for the chillins and then I had to shoot a couple of Indians who were trying to steal my chickens."

Wonder what kind of reaction I'll get from that???